The city of Helsinki elected the 28th of February 2011 a new project manager called Ville Relander, who will lead the realisation of the city’s food culture strategy. The working place for this manager will be the wholesale food market in Kalasatama. Relander has earlier been working as the CEO of local food shop Anton&Anton and knows therefore how to create new restaurant and hotel concepts in Finland as well as abroad. Now in his new position, he sees that Helsinki has all the potential to become a Nordic success story also concerning its food culture. He will utilise his position to co-operate with innovative actors and develope Helsinki’s food supply and the services connected to the food industry.
”It is especially great that the city dears to be up to date and active already in the developing phase of the food culture. I look forward to co-operating with different actors in the food industry. My mission as project manager is to co-ordinate and encourage people to creativity and co-operation among each other. The food culture stategy is a big project, so in order to achive something special, it needs a broad vision and priniciples behind it. It also needs to be esembling among actors. We have all the possibilities in the world, as long as we believe in ourselves!” encourages Relander.
Relander also believes that the Nordic countries are now on everybody’s lips concerning tourism but also food, which ensures that Helsinki will continue to be a popular food destination. Relander recommends the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ brochure ”Titbits from Finland” which introduces the Finnish food culture. According to him it exhibits in a nice way our food culture. Relander strongly believes that networking concerning local food and food in general will help the city in finding solutions to a versatile supply.
On the courtyard of the wholesale food market and its red brick market hall there will open in 2012 a new area meant for consumers, where visitors can try many kinds of food products. In January, the HEL YES pop up restaurant gave some pre-taste of this.
The work group behind the food culture project has made up a plan, where it listed plans interesting even for visitors:
- developing market and market hall activity
- making the food culture of Helsinki a part of the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 programme
Relander encourtages visitors to try Finnish so called authentic old school restaurants like Kosmos, Elite and Sea horse. His own grocery shopping he makes in the Hakaniemi market hall and the ethnic and ecologic shops in its surroundings. Relander loves the bakery Eromanga’s meat pies and authentic street food, but thinks that Helsinki lacks its first organic street grill. Are you up for the challenge?